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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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free to interest themselves in the affairs of all nations of Europe and no
spheres of influence had been agreed to by anyone."
That the British Government felt impelled to publish its change of
policy at this particular juncture and recognise the territorial claims of the
Soviets was all the more surprising, since as it publicly claimed, they
had agreed to shelve such claims until the peace conference. The pressure
of the war situation and the circumstances which had compelled the
British Government to take such a step, were not familiar to Parliament,
who did not entirely agree with the ideas expressed by its Premier, so
contrary were they to the course which he had hitherto steered.
In their talks at Teheran, both the British Prime Minister and Stalin
had assured each other that Poland was to be ' independent/ But this
* independence* held entirely different meanings for the two men.
Judging by previous experience, it could be assumed that, within a few
years, Stalin's Poland would be analogical to the Soviet Ukraine, i.e..,
several million people would probably die, half the Polish ethnographical
block would be cut off and dispersed throughout the depths of Asia.
The Great Russians and that mixture of many nationalities composing
the Soviet Union would flood the country. This liquidation of the
thirty-five million of Poland's inhabitants would present no more difficulty
to the Soviets than had the liquidation of the thirty million inhabitants
of the Ukraine.
Moscow's reaction was summarised by the correspondent of Associated
Press, who cabled :
" The Soviet people who read Mr. Churchill's prominently-reported
speeclx, regarded his references to Poland as meaning that Britain was in
full accord with the Soviet policy, and saw an early abandonment of the
Polish Government in London.
" Moscow political observers said that Mr. Churchill's speech should
settle the Polish question, provided the United States took a similar view.
This was assumed, as Mr. Churchill had indicated that his point of view
was taken at Teheran after discussions with Marshal Stalin. This the
Russian people took to mean that Mr. Roosevelt was also present."
But did President Roosevelt hold similar views ? From the moment
when the United States had entered the war, Washington was to maintain
an unbroken silence over the affair of Europe, and after Teheran., this
silence grew more significant.
ce Twice in our life, Russia had been violently assaulted by Germany
. . . Russia has the right of reassurance against future attacks from the
West..." said Churchill. Every nation had the right to such a reassur-
ance. It was not only Russia^ however, who had been assaulted. France
had seen the Germans on her soil three times within, the lifetime of the
older generation^ while Poland twice,, in twenty years, had been assaulted
by the Soviets and annihilated by the common effort of Germany and
Russia. " One can have the impression that it was Poland who had
invaded Russia, occupied the greater part of her territory., established a
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